Scouts swept in doubleheader
Scouts swept in doubleheader
By Luke Severt, Xenia Scouts beat writer
June 24, 2018
ADRIAN, Mich.- The Xenia Scouts entered Saturday with a five-game win streak. Unfortunately, the luck of the Irish Hills Leprechauns was too much for the streak to continue.
The Scouts travelled to Adrian, Michigan to play a doubleheader comprised of two seven-inning games against the Leprechauns. They would end up losing both games, the first by a score of 9-5 and the second on a walk-off, 8-7.
Despite losing both games, the quality of play the Scouts exhibited during their win streak continued to show throughout both games.
“We have had a good run here over the last ten days or so,” said Scouts manager Bubba Cates. “We had some really good things happen over that course of time. Like last night, we score seven runs late in the ballgame to help us win. Baseball has a way of balancing itself out, and even within that, in that second game we find ourselves down four in the sixth inning and we find a way to score four runs. I thought that was big. We end up losing on a tough play, but I thought our guys did fine.”
In game one, while they were down to their final out, they had the tying run at the plate in designated hitter Ryan Bertelsman, when he hit a long drive to center field. Off the bat, it appeared as if it may have had a chance to clear the wall and tie the game, or at least allow a few runs to score as the Scouts had the bases loaded. Unfortunately, the Leprechaun center fielder had a perfect read on the ball, and was able to track it down and make the play for the third and final out of the ballgame.
In the second game, the Scouts yet again proved the resilience that accompanies their offensive prowess. Early in the contest, with the Scouts trailing 2-1, designated hitter Connor Regan put his team on top with a two-run home run, the fourth homer by a Scout this season. Xenia let the lead slip away, however, and Irish Hills used a five-run fifth inning to take a commanding 7-3 lead.
As history has shown, the Scouts do not go down without a fight, and Saturday was no different. In the sixth inning, they loaded the bases for center fielder Graham Welch, who already had two doubles and a triple on the night. Leprechaun pitcher Axel Bueter may have had that in the back of his mind as he was unable to throw strikes against Welch and walked him to allow the Scouts to score a run. Next in the Scouts batting order was Regan, who ripped a three-run double to clear the loaded bases and tie the game at seven.
“I just felt comfortable,” said Regan. “Taking everything pitch-by-pitch, I went up to each at bat with an approach and a plan, and I’m just glad I executed.”
The Scouts have played 12 games this season, and in each and every one of those games, they have trailed at some point.
“It’s kinda neat,” said Cates. “I look at the score and I think ‘man, we can score four runs,’ and there are times, like last year, where we had trouble scoring runs, and you don’t think that. This team has the ability to put some things together.”
Unfortunately for the Scouts, they were able to get two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t earn the third. Leprechauns center fielder Preston Pilat hit a bloop single that just fell out of short of the lunging Xenia right fielder Carter Boswell to drive in the winning run and complete the sweep of the Scouts.
The aforementioned offensive talent this Xenia Scouts team possesses was evident on Saturday. They scored a combined 12 runs in 14 innings, and with that tallied 16 hits and drew seven walks throughout the night. A total of 17 different Scouts started either game, and 16 of these players were able to reach base at least once during the doubleheader.
“We have some good hitters, and we have some guys that can run” said Cates. “We do have some better opportunities to score runs than maybe we have had in the past. I like that. That’s encouraging to me, and that’s encouraging to them.”
While the Scouts offense was successful, their pitching faced some struggles. Due to the limited number of pitchers on the Xenia roster and the amount of rest required after each performance, Cates has a small amount of flexibility with his pitching staff, something that concerns him often, regular game or doubleheader regardless.
“My mind is always on how many pitches a guy has thrown, how many innings they’ve got, so next week when we’re ready to play we have guys that are available. That’s all I’m worried about,” said Cates.
Ryan Moeller got the opening game nod on the mound, and went 4 2/3 innings while giving up seven runs on six hits and walking five. He was relieved by Landen Myers and Ben Bills, and when it was all said and done, the three allowed a combined nine runs on 11 hits and walked seven.
In the following game, the Scouts only needed two pitchers, but they fared similarly to their teammates in the first game. Tom Fleser started, throwing four innings and giving up five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out five. Andrew Verbrugge took over for him, as he threw 2 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, a walk, and three runs, the last of those being the winning run.
“I still feel good,” said Regan about his team. “We’ve had some good outings, some things just didn’t fall our way. I think we’ll be fine, and I think next week we’ll get back on track.”
The Scouts fall to 6-6 on the year after the two losses, and will travel to Muskegon to play the Clippers on Tuesday after using two off days to their advantage.